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Pressure on negotiating team

Small firms demand ‘easy and cheap’ EU access

Andy WilloxSmall firms have increased pressure on the Brexit negotiating team to secure continued low-cost access to the European Union.

In a survey, two thirds (63%) named the EU as a priority market and one in four (27%) of exporting small firms would be deterred from trading with the EU should any tariff – no matter how low – be introduced.

More than half (53%) of current importers and 58% of exporters find trading with the EU single market cheaper than trading with non-EU markets. Around one in five small exporters trade exclusively with the EU.

The SNP said the findings from the Federation of Small Businesses revealed the “huge risk” the Conservatives are taking by withdrawing the UK from the single market.

Stuart McMillan, SNP member of Holyrood’s Europe committee said: “These findings demonstrate just how important open trading with the EU is for our small businesses and our economy, and the huge risk the Tories are taking by tearing us out of the world’s biggest single market, which is around eight times bigger than the UK’s alone.”

Andy Willox, the FSB’s Scottish policy convenor, said: “The UK and Scottish economies cannot afford to see a slowdown in exports.

“FSB is calling on the UK Government to secure the easiest, and least costly, access to the EU single market in the Brexit negotiations.”

The FSB is writing to the Scottish Government and the Scotland Office with details of their findings.

 

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